some good tips on here,,, there used to be a racing tips sticky that got deleted in the recent GTAF rearrange... shame as a lot of good tips were lost... but as i wrote it ill add some here and delte any duplication from the OP
If traffic is on keep an eye out longer ahead on the road. half expecting every NPC to randomly turn into you,,, be prepared for anything as then you can avoid it if it does happen and no worries if it doesn't.... Also if you have traffic on try and overtake with an NPC car between you and your fellow racers, stops them from PIT'ing you as there's a car in the way and gives you a nice clean overtake... this uses the slingshot slipstream idea
Practice, Practice, Practice...
Getting use to the tracks helps so doing some solo runs can be a real benefit. Theres no-one else on the track to worry about and you're free to find what lines work best for you and your car.
Obviously rain can affect your traction so this is something to bear in mind when entering corners, try not to go too fast or too sharp into the turn or you will spin out... keep clean smooth lines
My Rules of Thumb are
1) Drive Smooth
2) Dont try and PIT people, you lose more than you gain, mostly respect....
3) take corners from the outside to the inside back outside... the less sharp the turn, the faster you can take it
4) pick higher traction over slightly more speed or acceleration, its totally worth it
5) use NPC traffic to your advantage
6) Have a butt load of fun... whether you win or lose racing is about the getting from a - b not just crossing the finish line.. i race alot cos i enjoy it,, i get murked in deathmatches loads so racing is my main source of income until my shooting ability (not in game, but using the controller) gets better and I can hold my own in LTS and DM
I really love a good motorbike race, but a little tip that contradicts my earlier advice... Specifically on motorbikes use your handbrake... the normal brake is your front wheel (cool for endos, but lose traction and steering in a race) whereas your handbrake is your rear brake... help to keep this in mind when approaching a turn on a bike, keeps alot
more stability in the turn.
Fastlaps, Race Partners and Extra RP
Obviously we all want faster lap times. Some of my fastest lap times have been when ive lost places and have to try and come back into the first three, obviously this is where catchup can help if its left on, but it usually get me fired up for hitting those slipstreams, slingshot
overtakes and the inside line in corners... ive also noticed this can gives me more RP in the Race.
Ive regularly now seen the message "you have reached maximum RP for this activity" and figured out that every time you hit two checkpoints quicker than the rest of the pack it counts an "overtake" and quite often you will see a "10 Overtakes" message when youve hit a few checkpoints without actually overtaking anyone... because its based on point-point times. nearly every time ive seen that message my lap time has been faster than the race winner, or ive made up some serious ground in P2P races.
Then theres the Slipstream RP bonuses. If you slipstream a car for more than 5 seconds you get a little RP bonus. Theres also an RP bonus for being first when you hit a new lap.. so in an ideal world (which rarely happens) you want to be making ground each lap, finishing in first for the lap, then letting some people overtake you to slipstream them,
slingshot overtake at the last couple of checkpoints and do the same again,, on a 5 lap race of Criminal Records its easy to max out the little RP bonuses this way.
This is where Race Partners come in... The fastest lap times are set using slipstreaming. If you and a friend can get clear of the pack and keep slipstreaming the entire race, as the rear driver gets the speed boost he over-takes to the lead position, then the follower car gets the speed boost and over-takes the new leader. With a precise pair of drivers this is how really fast lap/P2P times are set as you can both effectively slipstream for 50% of the race (RP bonus) and each slingshot overtake will help reduce your overall times (as the car you overtake gets into a slipstream off your slightly boosted speed)
So that being said you can get more RP if you arent leading the race the whole way through.
Catch Up on vs Catch Up Off
Obviously if your hosting this is an interesting choice.. Personally I (and most RRR1 members) go for catch-up off in most races. I like to know if im leading, my speed wont be crippled by a game engine. For me, there's also a slightly hollow feeling to be in last and know your only making up ground because of some in-game function, if im losing id rather lose fairly... motivates me to get better.
However if your not as confident in your racing ability, or know your in a group of bumper drivers, having catch up on can help you recover if you do get taken out or miss time your cornering. Catchup on can also "level the playing field" when you have a lobby of mixed levels but you want to keep the race interesting (as imo just leading the race all the
way can be a bit boring and less RP than winning by a second, with some close neck and neck slip-streaming... winning is still winning right??)
I guess this depends on how much you want to win and who you are playing with... if im in a mixed lobby of friends who dont all have custom for the class we are racing I tend to by nice and turn Custom off... In those circumstances i need the RP less than a lower level racer.. who needs to get some more race time to be a real (custom on catch up off style) challenge... I like to be challenged rather than just wiping the floor with my friends because i have more game time under my belt and them getting demotivated to keep racing.
That said if im hosting for randoms there's a little part of me that wants to just take the easy win and avoid the possibility of being taken out early in the race... until we build up a bit of banter, i know im playing with some clean racers and then I might be open to switching custom off
What to Keep in your Garage (IMO)
Im not going to say which car is the fastest or the best... i truly believe a lot of that preference comes from driving style and your own personal choices... I know what works for me, but that doesnt mean it will work for you. However if you race alot and take yourself pretty seriously as a racer then you need a strong arsenal of cars at your deposal, to customise over time and give you that edge on the track. Personally given the frequency of class types id recommend you have the following at your disposal, in this order of priority (as to begin with you may only have a 2 car garage, then moving up to 6 then 10)
(2 Car Garage)
1 x Sports (Free Elegy is a good and economical choice to upgrade)
1 x Motorbike
(6 car garage, inc the above)
1 x Compact (as not many people mod compacts for racing, but on the odd occasion you race them it could give you the edge)
1 x Offroad (Sanchez is a good strong choice for winning)
1 x Muscle
1 x Coupe, Sedan or SUV (your pref, not many people race in these classes IMO)
(10 Car Garage, inc above)
1 x Coupe, Sedan or SUV (whichever you don't already have)
1 x Supercar (cos you likely cant afford one till you have some races/cash under
your belt, at which point you will have more race mods unlocked for upgrading)
1 x Sports Classics
This gives you one in each category, your gonna have to make a decisions between your coupe, sedans and SUVs... being that bit slower I dont see as many races in these categories compared to Sports and Super. If you can afford a super car before you ahve a 10 car garage by all measn get yourself one before hand... but bear in mind if you dont have money to mod it too its kinda a pointless purchase... youd be better to mod your
lower end vehicles first to give you a better chance in races in these categories (hell if youve got a pimped out compact host some compact races youcoud see your win:loss ratio improve), and use a standard super for super races, as its will perform the same as an owned one without the big price tag.
Join a Racing Crew
Coudnt recommend this more, joining a racing crew will do a lot for your skills on the track. Having regular races with other hardcore racers will improve your game quite a lot, giving you guidance for line choices through the apex of turns and good track knowledge. Obviously theres a lot of crews in the recruitment section, and a couple of links in my sig to Approved Racers that always race clean, NOT PIT... no reverse driving or other messing about, just clean racing.